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Friday Top Five: Memorial Day edition

Happy Friday! Who's excited for the long weekend? It's supposed to rain here in Atlanta, which is a bit of a bummer, but I'm sure it will still be a great weekend. I hope everyone has exciting plans with their family and friends!

As per usual, there were some great posts in the association blogosphere this weekend. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments if I didn't mention them!

1. Deirdre Reid had a fantastic post at SmartBlog Insights on upward-facing associations. She discusses the innovative company Lululemon (love their yoga clothes!) and how they pay for athletic and yoga classes for employees to encourage their mission and allow them to grow both personally and professionally. She writes, We do annual performance evaluations based on job-related goals; why not ask them to set goals for their whole life? A Ford Foundation study found that people who write out their goals achieve them 89% of the time. Why not help our staff do this? Does your organization truly live and breathe its mission?

2. At Association Subculture, Shelly Alcorn wrote a wonderful, thoughtful post about Generation X leaders in associations, sharing a moving background story that applies not only to her, but to a lot of Gen Xers. As Generation X association professionals continue to hold more leadership positions, consider the environment in which many of them grew up as you handle the dynamics of your organization.

3. A promoter in Colorado got the attention of Cynthia D'Amour last week — his dancing in the streets made the morning rush hour a bit more enjoyable. Cynthia asks chapter leaders what kind of innovative strategies they're plotting to get the attention of members. Sometimes even the most offbeat antics are the ones that get our attention.

4. I loved Elizabeth Weaver Engel's post which asked association professionals to consider how their organization appears to outsiders: is it welcoming or exclusive? She compares a hip bar in Washington D.C. and a cool jazz club in New Orleans. Does your organization appear "groovy or snotty" to people who have no connection whatsoever to it?

5. David M. Patt wrote what was probably my favorite post this week, titled When smaller is better. He succinctly describes several benefits to working for a smaller association: there are fewer silos, the executive director is often more directly involved in staff issues and there's less bureaucracy. Staff is often able to respond quickly to organizational or industry surprises. (Small staff associations rule!)

Whatever your plans are for this Memorial Day weekend, we hope you have a great one!


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